I’ve always loved Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. We often listened to the soundtrack on Sunday mornings while preparing for church. I DIDN'T know how much I’d enjoy reading this story, since I am already familiar with it.
But let me tell you. Beauty by Robin McKinley completely took me by surprise, sweeping me to a land of enchantments. The story itself was, for the most part, as I expected it to be, but the layers to this book go so much deeper.
I loved so many aspects of this book; I don’t know where to begin.
The character, Beauty, is actually not the gorgeous girl you might expect. As a young girl, she didn’t like her given name (Honour) and told her father she’d rather be Beauty. He laughed, told everyone in the city, and the name stuck.
When Beauty is a teenager, her father finds himself in financial ruin. They move to a small town along with Beauty’s two older sisters who are truly beautiful inside and out. Their home is right next to a dense forest, and I bet you could guess who lives deep in that fascinating forest.
“Like all the other doors I had met in the castle, this one opened at my approach. The room it revealed was a large, warm, and gracious one. One wall to my left a fire was burning in a fireplace; two armchairs were drawn up before it. One chair was empty. In the other a massive shadow sat. I caught a gleam of dark-green velvet on what might have been a knee in the shadowed armchair.
‘Good evening, Beauty,’ said a great harsh voice. ‘I am the Beast.’”
I love the amount of description used in this novel. I found that I could completely picture the places but never skipped ahead. The action was always moving along with the descriptions. I also loved the characters and the relationships between them. Each character is well-built and has their own little story going on.
This is my first experience reading a book by Robin McKinley, but I can’t wait to read more!
Okay, I’m done gushing about this book. Really. If it sounds like something you might like, try it out.